Spending time at beach is good for health
Being near the ocean can improve your overall health and well-being, according to research presented at the science policy conference of the American Geophysical Union. Though researchers acknowledge that the notion that being near the beach can improve health is not new, scientists are now looking more closely at what specific qualities of a day at the beach can be helpful. Researchers at the University of Exeter in England have begun a project called "Blue Gym," which looks at how natural water environments can improve health and well-being.
One experiment looked at how much people are willing to pay for a hotel room with an ocean view. Participants were given photographs of an ocean view, green fields or cities, and asked how much they would pay for a room with a view of each. Not surprisingly, people were willing to pay more for the room with an ocean view. Researchers also looked at census data to see how living near a coast affects people's health. They found that those living near the sea reported better health. They also found that moving to the ocean significantly improved health and well-being, about a tenth as much as finding an new job.
Researchers suggest that being near the ocean could reduce stress and encourage physical activity. The next step is to see if ocean exposure could be used as a form of therapy.